Friday, March 7, 2008

Four for Friday: Family Melodrama Edition (A Loose Tooth, Daddy School, Fashion Sense and Potter Mania)

Item #1: Fang No More

For weeks, the Youngest Boy insisted on letting his second loose tooth jut forward in the bottom his mouth as his adult tooth was rising up through the gums behind it, inching the baby tooth outward a little more each day. The discomfort caused him to stop eating anything with a discernible crunch, making feeding the child more than the challenge it is under normal conditions. When he would finally agree to eat, he would tilt his head to the side and eat out of one corner of his mouth, leaving what looked like a permanent streak of dried food remnants curling around the left side of his face. Despite parental offerings to “ease” the tooth from its irritating position – his uncle and his grandfather helpfully offered string-and-doorknob solutions -- he refused intervention.

So everyone, including him, began jokingly referring to him as Fang . . . until the tooth mercifully fell out of his mouth. (There was genuine concern that it was so loose that he’d swallow it in his sleep, thereby denying him the opportunity to put it under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy so he could get a dollar for his “money collection,” as he calls it.)

However as soon as the tooth came out, the Youngest Boy demanded that it return to its rightful place. As the 6-year-old fled the room sobbing, the Eldest Boy asked me if he could touch the tooth, to which I said, “No,” before trying to soothe He-Who-Hath-the-Bloody-Mouth. When the Youngest Boy calmed down, we returned to the kitchen only to find the Eldest Boy standing very still. “I lost the tooth,” he said, which sent his younger brother into another fit and provoked my loud lamentations about kids who don’t listen to me, which, in turn, sent the Eldest Boy out of the room, sobbing.

I did find the tooth, although it took the Youngest Boy two days to come to terms with the loss. (He initially told us he wanted to keep his tooth and insisted we hide it from the Tooth Fairy.) Finally, he agreed to place it under his pillow. The following morning, he got his dollar, thus concluding another in a string of recent, family melodramas.

Item #2: Daddy School

For once, I was not the subject of the children’s ire for daring to do something as irrational as refusing their requests to watch television for 17 consecutive hours, to play videogames until their eyeballs melted or to subsist on nothing more than ginger ale, frozen waffles and ice cream.

While The Spouse was having an argument with the Youngest Boy the other day – I think the dispute was over whether the child needed to wear a coat in 30-degree weather, but many of the pediatric arguments tend to blur together so I can’t be sure – I overheard the boy yell, “You’re the worst daddy in the world! You need to go to grown-up school to learn how to be a good dad!”

I laughed. Guffawed, actually. Out loud. Perhaps a bit too loudly.

After the child went outside to play, The Spouse said to me, “If I have to go to parenting classes, you’re coming with me.”

Item #3: In Today, Out Tomorrow

It seems like just a few years ago when The Girl refused to wear anything that wasn’t pink or some form of a dress or a skirt. Looking inside of her dresser drawers in those days was like looking into the eye of a Pepto-Bismol hurricane.

Not so anymore.

Nowadays, the 9-year-old is into sporty-gal chic, meaning absolutely nothing in pink, nothing frilly, no skirts and no dresses. She prefers bold, primary colors in hues of blue, red or green. I discovered how vehement she actually was about her new fashion preferences when we were getting ready to take The Spouse out to a nice dinner to celebrate a Milestone Birthday and I told her she couldn’t wear jeans. Her response was to vigorously stomp, yell and fall to the floor in abject horror. Later, when I demanded she accompany me to her room to make a more appropriate clothing choice and found some red pants and a fluffy sweater (which I couldn’t get her to stop wearing last year), she yelled, “You’re just trying to make me look fancy!”

In the meantime, the Youngest Son was absolutely blissful as he eagerly donned khakis, a button-down shirt, a tie and a sweater vest, so he could look just like his favorite person in the whole wide world, the guy who he said needed to take parenting classes.

Item #4: Make Way for Potter

My third graders are thrilled that I’ve decided to read the Harry Potter series. (They’re only on their 47th time through all seven books.) I introduced them to the books last summer and since then, they’ve been utterly hooked. In fact, it’s been painfully difficult to try to get my 9-year-old son to read anything other than a Potter book because, as he says, “There’s nothing else I like as much as these.”

Only problem is, the kids are extremely impatient with the pace of my reading. They don’t get that I can’t spend every waking moment reading for pleasure. When I explain that I have things to which I must attend such as work, reading for work, household chores, preparing them meals and sleeping, they look at me quizzically, as if I were speaking in a foreign tongue. And when they excitedly ask me to tell them at what exact scene I left off and I say I can’t remember, they look crestfallen.

For the record, I’m on the second book, but I’ve got a heap of work this weekend, so the likelihood that I’ll get to the book is slim. But try telling that to the kids. They think I’m just made of time.

1 comment:

neha said...

hi,

thanks for sharing!!!!!!!